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Reconstructing communities in cluster trials?

Lignou, S; Das, S; Mistry, J; Alcock, G; More, NS; Osrin, D; Edwards, SJ; (2016) Reconstructing communities in cluster trials? Trials , 17 (166) 10.1186/s13063-016-1284-6. Green open access

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BACKGROUND: There is growing interest in the ethics of cluster trials, but no literature on the uncertainties in defining communities in relation to the scientific notion of the cluster in collaborative biomedical research. METHODS: The views of participants in a community-based cluster randomised trial (CRT) in Mumbai, India, were solicited regarding their understanding and views on community. We conducted two focus group discussions with local residents and 20 semi-structured interviews with different respondent groups. On average, ten participants took part in each focus group, most of them women aged 18-55. We conducted semi-structured interviews with ten residents (nine women and one man) lasting approximately an hour each and seven individuals (five men and two women) identified by residents as local leaders or decision-makers. In addition, we interviewed two Municipal Corporators (locally elected government officials involved in urban planning and development) and one representative of a political party located in a slum community. RESULTS: Residents' sense of community largely matched the scientific notion of the cluster, defined by the investigators as a geographic area, but their perceived needs were not entirely met by the trial. CONCLUSION: We examined whether the possibility of a conceptual mismatch between 'clusters' and 'communities' is likely to have methodological implications for a study or to lead to potential social disharmony because of the research interventions, arguing that it is important to take social factors into account as well as statistical efficiency when choosing the size and type of clusters and designing a trial. One method of informing such a design would be to use existing forums for community engagement to explore individuals' primary sense of community or social group and, where possible, to fit clusters around them. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN Register: ISRCTN56183183 Clinical Trials Registry of India: CTRI/2012/09/003004 .

Type: Article
Title: Reconstructing communities in cluster trials?
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13063-016-1284-6
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13063-016-1284-6
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Lignou et al. 2016 Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: CRTs, Clusters, Community, Community engagement, India, Mumbai
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1481494
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